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Lakers off to 2-0 start with shutout of Pequot Lakes

Laker running back Jarret Nosal finds a clearing through the Patriots defensive front Friday. Photo by - Brian Basham1 / 4
Nick Groth wraps the legs of Pequot Lakes' QB Jordan Redmond Friday evening, during the third quarter. Photo by - Brian Basham2 / 4
Kirk McLeod makes a stabbing catch Friday against Pequot Lakes. Photo by - Brian Basham3 / 4
Brandon Dahring (35) takes down Pequot Lakes running back Tyler Tappe Friday evening. Photo by - Brian Basham4 / 4

A strong start to Friday's game supplied a quick explosion of offense for the Detroit Lakes football team, as the defense took over from there to salt away a 21-0 victory over visiting Pequot Lakes in the Heart O'Lakes Conference opener at Mollberg Field.

Unlike in the Lakers' season opener, the DL offense came out firing by putting up 14 points and three explosive plays in its first two drives.

The Lakers added another explosive play in the form of a 79-yard catch-and-go touchdown by senior wide receiver Derek Long for the 21-0 advantage.

From there, it was all defensive domination as the Lakers go 2-0 on the season.

"The offensive got off to a good start and after that, our defense was playing so well that I didn't want to take any chances to let Pequot back in it," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "I didn't think they were going to be able to score on our defense."

Prediction correct.

The Laker defense stymied the Patriot offense the entire four quarters and bottled up their star running back, junior Tyler Tappe, who rushed for just 62 yards on 15 carries.

Laker territory was pretty much virgin ground to the Patriots, who crossed the 50 just three times, with one of them coming late in the game on a blocked punt.

DL's defensive line mauled Pequot Lakes' offensive front, by poking holes through the trenches and hitting Tappe or senior quarterback Jordan Redmond in the backfield on a regular basis.

Punt formation became much too regular for the Patriots, who had to punt a total of eight times and were stuffed on fourth down twice. Senior Stephen Erb ended the Pats' last drive with an interception in the DL end zone.

"I thought the defensive line did a great job, the coaches gave us our assignments and everyone did their job," said junior lineman Josh Weber. "The communication on the line is huge and it's a big deal getting that shutout, too."

The Patriots were forced to play comeback, after DL scored on their first two opening drives.

The first drive jarred the Pat's defense early, as junior quarterback Michael Herzog ripped off a 22-yard run up the middle on the first play.

Junior running back Jarret Nosal immediately followed up with a 28-yard dash to the Pequot Lakes' 21.

Three plays later, Herzog shrugged off a blitzing Patriot defender and hit senior wide receiver Kirk McLeod in the middle of the field for a 23-yard touchdown.

"We knew they were going to blitz us, so we had to pick it up and downfield would be open," Herzog said. "Last week, the offense got off to a slow start, so the goal this week was to smack them in the mouth early, run the ball and bring in more of their players in the box.

"Then we could open the playbook a little more."

A little more is all the Laker offense needed, as Herzog rambled for a 53-yard run on the next DL drive, down to the Patriot 18.

Three plays later, he took it himself 10 yards up the gut. He then hit senior tight end A.J. Matter for a two-point conversion for a 14-0 margin (the PAT kick on the first score was blocked).

Later in the second quarter, Herzog and the Laker offense went back to the big-play well, this time scooping up a 79-yard catch-and-run by Long on third and 14.

Again, Herzog was able to avoid a heavy rush and hit Long near the home sideline. Both the safety and cornerback collided, leaving Long a huge lane and open field to put DL up 21-0 after a Sam Champa kick.

"I didn't know if Derek was going to be able to win the foot race, but he did it," Herzog joked.

The junior quarterback completed just three passes, but they went for 110 yards for an average of 36.7 yards per attempt and two touchdowns.

It was a facet of his game he worked on diligently over the offseason, along with rehabbing his knee he injured in January.

"I worked as much as I could on my passing and much of it also comes with maturity," Herzog added. "But, we still can get a lot better offensively."

Nosal led the team in rushing with 84 yards, just one more yard than Herzog's 83.

The offense did sputter a little in the second half, picking up just five first downs total in the game, but two penalties nullified two long touchdowns.

The defense, though, is proving to be a worthy opponent for any offense.

They have allowed just one touchdown in the first eight quarters, while holding the Patriots to 157 total yards. Redmond passed for 101 yards, but went 11-27 in the process.

"We still had some good plays in the second half, but the penalties put us in some bad spots," Motschenbacher said. "The defense had a great team effort, they took away exactly what Pequot Lakes wanted to do."

Special teams also played an important key, as reliable tackling was had, which led to favorable field position for the Lakers.

Senior gunner Nick Groth made two open-field tackles on the Patriot punt returner, sticking them deeper in their own territory.

After that, the defense cleaned up and sent the Laker offense back out on the field.

"Our guys played a tough, physical game," Motschenbacher said. "It's an area they really have stepped up big in. It's a well-rounded defense and every position is doing their job."

With the 2-0 start coming on opponents who beat the Lakers last year, it's a good tone setter for the remaining six games of the regular season.

But the Lakers know they still have plenty of work to do.

"We are still a young team and they are still in the process of learning," Motschenbacher said. "But it's a lot nicer going into practice 2-0, rather than 1-1 or 0-2."

And it also tastes a little better doing it with the flavor of revenge.

"Paybacks are awesome," Weber concluded.

The Lakers will travel to Thief River Falls (1-1), which lost to No. 6 Class 2A Warroad 39-26 Friday, with game time at 7 p.m.

Laker results

Pequot Lakes at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Sept. 7.

Lakers 21, Patriots 0

Pequot Lakes - 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Detroit Lakes - 14 7 0 0 -- 21

DL - Kirk McLeod 23-yard pass from Michael Herzog; kick blocked. 7:45, 1st quarter.

DL - Herzog 10-yard run; A.J. Matter pass from Herzog. 1:43, 1st.

DL - Derek Long 79-yard pass from Herzog; Sam Champa kick. 4:29, 2nd.


First Downs 5 8

By Rushing 4 3

By passing 0 4

By penalty 1 1

Net Yards Rushing 165 56

No. rushes 34 25

Yards gained 190 93

Yards lost 25 37

Net Yards Passing 110 101

No. passes 10 27

Completed 3 11

Incomplete 6 15

Had intercepted 1 1

Interception yards 0 0

Total Offensive Plays 51 60


Kickoffs 4 1

Yards 210 45

Ave. kickoff 52.5 45

Kickoffs Returned 1 2

Yards 26 22

Ave. return 25 11

Fumbles 2 3

Fumbles lost 0 0

Penalties 8 6

Yards 60 28

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Jarret Nosal 17 84 0 84

Michael Herzog 16 106 23 83

Dylan Bremseth 1 0 2 (-2)

Pequot Lakes -

Tyler Tappe 15 77 15 62

Justin Mackenthun 1 5 0 5

Kyle Narveson 1 3 0 3

Alex Tangen 1 0 0 0

Karl Satherlund 3 1 4 (-3)

Jordan Redmond 4 7 18 (-11)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Herzog 10 3 6 1 110 2

Pequot Lakes -

Redmond 27 11 15 1 101 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Kirk McLeod 1 23 1

Derek Long 2 87 1

Pequot Lakes -

Tappe 5 28 0

Travis Jacobson 2 37 0

Kyle Narveson 2 19 0

Sebastian Elsenpeter 1 12 0

Zach Northernscold 1 5 0

* * *


Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Christian Tigges 4 210 52.5

Pequot Lakes-

CJ Barleis 1 45 45

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Stephen Erb 1 26 26

Pequot Lakes -

Elsenpeter 2 22 11

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Erb 1 0

Pequot Lakes -

Elsenpeter 1 0

* * *


Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Brandon Johnson 1 13

Nick Groth 1 5

Pequot Lakes -

Justin Mackenthun 1 7

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.